If life (or the size of your retirement pot) has had you despairing of late, then let us reassure you with the happy news that you could in fact be on Earth for much longer than you’d anticipated.
This is after a new study has revealed that there is actually no detectable limit to how long humans can live.
That’s right, while there is an average lifespan researchers have found no evidence to support a definitive upper limit.
The team from McGill University in Canada, analysed the lifespan of the longest-living individuals from the USA, UK, France, and Japan for each year since 1968 and found that if such an age limit does exist, it has not yet been reached or identified.
Siegfried Hekimi, who co-authored the paper, said: “We just don’t know what the age limit might be. In fact, by extending trend lines, we can show that maximum and average lifespans, could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future.”
Average lifespans have long been going up - the Office of National Statistics says life expectancy at birth has increased by 13.1 weeks per year on average since 1980–1982 for males and 9.5 weeks per year on average for females in the UK - and maximum lifespans could follow the same trend.
“Three hundred years ago, many people lived only short lives. If we would have told them that one day most humans might live up to 100, they would have said we were crazy,” said Hekimi.
This research contradicts one published in Nature last October, which concluded that the upper limit of human age is peaking at around 115 years.
But with technology, medical interventions and improvements in living conditions these factors are all helping push back the upper limit, and no one knows if this trend will ever plateau.
The oldest man in the world Indonesian Sidomejo - or Mbah Gotho, as he is known locally - claims to be 145 years old, born on 31 December 1870.
Although the local government says it is impossible to verify his ID card with his date of birth, despite it being real.
Gotho has been married four times and had three children, all of whom he has outlived.
Jean Calment, who died in 1997, held the official Guinness World record for the oldest living person at 122.